CMCA Crest no shadow

Post-Christmas is a time for the batsmen to shine

This round of the Metro Premier Two-Day competition was a round for the batsmen to come out and play and this they did in spades!

Darren Broom’s 60 not out looked a race-course certainty to claim the carwash voucher with a skilful innings on a very difficult and damp batting surface at Sydenham Park; that is, until Sydenham’s Simon Keen defied the awkward pitch. At tea, Sydenham were 133/6 with Simon on 97 not out! He left the scene with 169 runs next to his name scored off 129 balls including 18 boundaries and five sixes. He continued this batting dominance in the second innings with a breezy 43 off 31 balls including six boundaries and one six. Simon’s outstanding dual performance with the bat ensured his team registered their first outright win of the season …. and another visit to an Espresso Carwash.

At the same time similar batting carnage was occurring across the city when Burnside West’s Sam Noster bestrode the batting crease at Elmwood Park. He was at his brilliant best as he cut, hooked and drove his way to his first club century for some time. He peppered the back gardens of the residents of St Andrew’s Square with five towering sixes and 15 boundaries as he charged to 138, and a richly-deserved Espresso Carwash voucher.

Travel east to Garrick Park and you would have seen an innings of real maturity from Park’s leading batsman in Keryn Ambler as he guided his team to a dominant position (201/5) against Riccarton (117) at the end of Day one. With Park losing four early wickets, Keryn found an able lieutenant in Dean van Deventer (50) and they set about consolidating their position in the match. Another Ambler century (107) ensured another Espresso Carwash award.

A fourth significant batting performance that would determine the outcome of a Premier match was seen at Ilam 3. Despite the short boundaries at this picturesque ground, most batsmen were unsure on a slow and holding surface. An inexperinced Dan Sharples came to the wicket with his St Albans’ team in tatters at 30/5. He found batting support in his side’s tail as he consolidated, then flourished, in a mature innings that yielded 85 not out, a team total of 241, and an Espresso Carwash award as Player of the Match.

CMCA Crest no shadow

Sunday, 9 February will provide a new dawn in Christchurch cricket when the Christchurch Metro representative side does battle with a touring XI from the Australian Air Force. Spectators at Beckenham Park on that day will see Metro cricketers selected from both the Premier and Senior A grades combining to combat our cricketing neighbours. In former years it was uncommon for players from the former Christchurch Suburban competitions to be selected, in any great numbers, for Representative XIs. With the evolution of Christchurch Metro, out of the Canterbury Cricket Association and Christchurch Suburban Association, this will be a fading memory.

Of the players on show, captain Ben Rapson will bring vast experience and good all-round form to the match. Nathan Columbus of the New Brighton club has met with considerable success this season with his medium pace left armers while Park’s elegant left hand opener, Michael Davidson will combine with Ben Williams of Southern Districts to ensure a sound base for the Metro innings. Heathcote’s Matt House has been in blistering recent form with the bat while Jared Roberts has been East Shirley’s bowling spearhead to date.

The following Metro players have been selected to play against an Australian Royal Air Force. Players should assemble at 9.15am.

Ben Rapson (Captain) – Riccarton, James Carr – Merivale Papanui, Adam Coleman – Marist Harewood, Nathan Columbus – Richmond, Michael Davidson – Lancaster Park Woolston, Matt Farrant – Burnside West Christchurch University, Brad Gordon – Riccarton, Charles Grey – Richmond, Matt House – Heathcote, Ben Langrope – St Albans, Jared Roberts – East Christchurch Shirley, Ben Williams – Southern Districts

Matt Richaens

History tells us that the pen is mightier than the sword. This concept was challenged when Metro spotted our local Press cricket scribe in a quietly confident mood before his time at the crease. Matt Richens turned out for his East Shirley 3As at Elmwood Park on Saturday and he justified his selection with a stout 28 runs batting at first drop that saw his side to victory. However, the jury is still out whether he handles the sword of willow better than the pen!